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Botulism, Botox and Detox


Last week saw the resignation of Fonterra’s milk products boss Gary Romano, after the New Zealand dairy giant was forced to recall some of its infant milk formula earlier in the month. The whey protein was recalled across several countries, including Hong Kong, due to fears that was contaminated with a bacteria that could cause botulism, a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness. We asked Dr Susan Jamieson from the Holistic Central Medical Practice for her top tips on how to stay super healthy, purge the toxins and protect against contamination the natural way.


As a Hong Kong family doctor with 25 years’ of experience, I’ve seen one health crisis after another. The fact that the world’s biggest dairy foods exporter, Fonterra, had tonnes of its whey protein contaminated with a deadly toxin is one of the most frightening health scares of recent years. After all, we use the trusted Cow and Gate milk formula for the most valuable commodities – our babies.

The bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, is a deadly toxin if administered in large enough doses. Luckily for Hong Kong, the company claims that no contaminated products were imported here. However, 80,000 cans of the formula were recalled in Hong Kong and Macau, and there were reports in other countries of babies who consumed the milk experiencing fever, lack of appetite, tiredness and weakness. The toxin can cause paralysis, and large enough doses could potentially stop the movement of essential muscles, such as the heart and lung muscles.




Interestingly, such symptoms are the desired effects when injecting a beauty aid such as Botox. It is very effective at immobilising muscles, even for weeks on end.

Nowadays, Hong Kongers are becoming more and more health conscious, going to the gym and eating organic food. However, I wonder if people who get this beauty treatment have realised that they are paying for a toxin that the rest of Hong Kong is trying to avoid?




Living in a city can be a minefield for the health conscious. We see the pollution index set at high most days, and are given vague guidelines such as “asthmatics warned not to go outdoors”. Obviously we inhale whatever is in the atmosphere, with pollutants only partially filtered by our nose and sinuses before arriving in our lungs.

Not surprisingly, as a family doctor in Hong Kong, the majority of my work revolves around treating sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma and allergies, as well as eye irritations. This is old news, but the more important question is: How do we maintain our health throughout this?

To cope with the long working hours, noise and chemical pollution of Hong Kong, it pays to have the most supportive supplement regime possible. Don’t get me wrong – healthy eating is hugely important, but there is 20-30% less nutrients (minerals) in the soil compared to 20 years ago, so supplements are often needed.



Detox Products

Here are two of my favourite detox and wellness supplements. I import these, have used them for several years and have seen great results. The important thing is to take one or two supplements only – keep it simple, and to keep it going. That way your enzyme systems have a better chance of clearing toxins.

Alfalfa, Arabic for ‘The Father of all foods’, is one of the most potent alkalinizing agents there is. Bear in mind that 99% of diseases, including cancers, need an acidic environment to survive. I recommend a daily dose. More information on alfalfa can be found here.

Spirulina, 80% protein by weight, is an algae packed full of essential minerals from ancient sea beds. It is one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that can help to protect against cancer and heart disease. Our imported brand is put into the capsules just six months prior to importing, which is of huge benefit in terms of potency.

Both of these supplements can be found at Holistic Central Medical Practice’s Queen’s Road surgery. For more information, call 2523 8044 or email via the Localiiz profile page.

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